|icelandic elves or brooklyn humans?
Rhys Southan - September 30, 2008
Hidden People revealed themselves in 2007 with Siouxsie and
the Banshees-esque percussion and bass instrumentals paired with the vocal stylings
of Dana Young - whose voice can leap anywhere between the hyper-articulateness
of Devo or The B52s’ Fred Schneider, to the melodic screaming of Poly
Styrene. They’ve just released an EP, “Hormones” and are organizing
a benefit show for Waggytail Rescue, but don’t assume these rockers are
soft and cuddly as the puppies they save. A sinister humor lurks in songs like
“Birth Control,” a celebration of teenage promiscuity without repercussion
Young prefers to sing lightly about dark matter. And with provoking lyrics like,
“If you wannit, here I am,” and an adventurous musical style unbound
by genre (check out the Caribbean flair in “Simple Shoe”), they’re
out to start a riot. If Brooklyn burns in its wake, that’s okay - they’ll
just move the operation to London, wankers.
What made you start singing?
Dana: Playstation Karaoke. (Rest of band laughs at her) Shut up! Technically,
I was interested when I was a kid, but I had a negative chorus experience. The
teacher told me I couldn’t sing, so I stopped. And then I was very harshly
nudged at my boyfriend’s family’s house to participate in Karaoke
Revolution. And I did. And they were like, “You can sing.” And I
got the game for Christmas. And I played it all the time. And I mastered it.
And I beat everyone I knew. It was awesome.
Chuck: Playstation don’t lie.
How is it being a three-piece band, rather than the more typical four
Otto: We actually managed to get all of our gear into a Toyota Matrix before.
It wasn’t comfortable, but we did it.
Dana: I had to sit on Otto.
You have a lot of energy on stage. How do people react to that?
Dana: Mixed. Usually they either come forward, or go back. It’s a lot
easier when they’re interactive and they want to come close to you. It’s
really hard when people are sitting down and far away to exude the same kind
of personal energy. I do it anyways. It’s just harder. It has to come
more from inside you if you can’t play off everyone else’s energy.
Chuck: We’re trying to focus more on working smaller bars and DIY venues
just to keep that crowd energy going. We’ve discovered that when you put
us up on a stage away from the crowd, we lose a lot of our energy. We like to
be right in there. We’re not really a punk rock band, but we like to have
that energy of the crowd interacting with you that comes with the punk scene.
What is your favorite venue so far?
Otto: The Charleston.
Chuck: The Charleston was actually a lot of fun. Trash is fun when you get a
good crowd too.
Dana: Yeah, the small places, where they can’t get away from you.
Chuck: I kind of fell in love with the place we played in Cleveland, Now That’s
Class. And granted, it did have a raised stage, but it had a skate ramp that
went up to the stage.
What are your influences?
Otto: I’ve been into Scandinavian death metal lately. I don’t know,
it’s doing something for me.
Dana: Lately I’ve been into Love Is All.
You’re doing a benefit for Waggytail Rescue on November 7th at Alphabeta
in Brooklyn, (also featuring Death of Fashion, Lidia Stone and Taigaa) Your
own dog was a waggytail rescue. What would you like to tell America about your
Dana: He has a beard.
"We’ve discovered that when you put us up on a stage away from the crowd, we lose a lot of our energy. We like to be right in there. We’re not really a punk rock band, but we like to have that energy of the crowd interacting with you that comes with the punk scene."
listen to "
Guitar free, hook-driven pop punk. For those who like: Siouxsie, B52s, Devo, The Stranglers.